MontClairVoyant: A Futile Fight to Keep Things Light

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

December is a month filled with holidays — including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa — plus our schools are about to go on winter break. So, can we keep this week’s column light for a change?

 

Sincerely,

Charge of the Light Brigade

 

Not a problem. When visitors look at Baristanet on their phones or computers, the screen background is light-colored.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

You’re missing the point. Anyway, am I prevented from asking about the two unfortunate water main breaks in our town in recent days?

 

Sincerely,

Shushing About Gushing

 

You can ask, because water is light in color — except when it turns brown. And don’t get me started on the different flavors of Kool-Aid.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Am I prevented from asking about the wise plan to have a construction-management firm oversee the $187.7 million in school improvements over the next few years?

 

Sincerely,

In Charge of the Site Brigade

 

No, construction paper is often light-colored, as were the ballots on which a whopping 84 percent of voters approved the bond a few weeks before many Thanksgiving dinners included mashed potatoes that were gleaming white.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

But the gravy on mashed potatoes is NOT white. Am I prevented from asking about the state seeking certain records from Township Council members?

 

Sincerely,

Darth Tater

 

All good if one of the records is “The White Album.”

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Keep the Beatles out of this. Media reports said New Jersey is looking into some councilors having received state-sponsored health insurance for which, as ostensible part-timers, they may not have been eligible. Comment?

 

Sincerely,

I Heard the News Today Oh Boy

 

If that’s the rule, that’s the rule — though I think local elected officials should be eligible for health insurance when they need it. And if they ever require a cast on a broken leg, you know what color that cast would be.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Not every cast is light in hue. Am I prevented from discussing how slow Montclair’s municipal government is in complying with Open Public Records Act requests?

 

Sincerely,

Transparency Travesty

 

You’re not prevented because those disturbing OPRA delays seem suspicious, and later-career Elvis Presley sang “Suspicious Minds” while wearing a white jumpsuit.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Am I prevented from discussing a Montclair official reportedly criticizing the local NAACP branch for not taking substantive actions on substantive issues?

 

Sincerely,

Another Foot in Mouth

 

You could discuss that criticism if it was just a harmless “white lie.” But the Montclair NAACP has done plenty of important things, so saying it hasn’t done plenty of important things shouldn’t be taken…lightly.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Can I talk about last weekend’s strikes at many Starbucks outlets, including the one in downtown Montclair, to protest problematic working conditions and the union-busting mentality of the coffee chain’s supposedly “progressive” management?

 

Sincerely,

Hypocritically Hip Execs

 

Yes, because the more milk in a caffeinated drink, the lighter that beverage’s color. And when I saw the admirable strikers December 18 on South Park, they and their signs were bathed in sunlight.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Can I also talk about the possible shuttering of Sushi Hana — the longtime, very good, unpretentious Japanese restaurant on North Fullerton near Bloomfield Avenue?

 

Sincerely,

Ben Tow-Box

 

I walked by that eatery after seeing the Starbucks strikers, and it did sadly look permanently closed — which an Internet search and unanswered phone calls seemed to confirm. You can talk about Sushi Hana because avocado rolls are white (the rice) and light green.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Am I prevented from discussing the proposed Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment that has good aspects but is too tall and too big — which would exacerbate area traffic and put more strain on Montclair’s infrastructure?

 

Sincerely,

Grover on Grove

 

Lackawanna used to have a Payless shoe store, and some of the sneakers were white, so…

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

I also remember a Burger King at Lackawanna whose beef patties weren’t light-colored.

 

Sincerely,

Bun Meat, Not Munn Street

 

But the onions in The Whopper were.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Enough already! We’ll resume serious discussion of the Lackawanna redo and other Montclair matters in future columns. Until then, what would happen if I asked someone whether they’re “dreaming of a white Christmas”?

 

Sincerely,

Orna Ment

 

They’d answer, “With every Christmas card I write.” And, believe me, it’s easier to write a holiday note when a Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa card has a white background.

 

 

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

 

 

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